The Hard Knocks
I made at least 20 different variations for this mixtape cover, and I showed my friends the different versions and gathered opinions on each cover. This one was always my personal favorite, but literally no one else’s. So why was it selected? Well, probably because I’m stubborn–but also because there is something to be said for sticking with your guts. There is a basic instinct that comes with any creative endeavor and everyone might not appreciate it at first (or ever), and that’s okay as long as it reflects a piece of you.
I told a musician friend that art is an energy you have to learn to control, and now I’m not really sure I agree with that. Lately, I’ve been thinking about what makes a classic album (you know, trying to create a classic mix for ya), and I actually think what makes a classic album is an artist unleashing his or her unique (sexual [...sorry]) energy in an untempered environment. For this mix I tried to start at the base level (“The Floor”) and find these really unique artists with extremely recognizable styles to create this really gritty, powerful hour of music. Also, it’s kind of dancy, which is mostly why it’s called “The Floor.”
- Sydney in Theory – Diamonds & Dirt
- George Barnett – Down on Me
- Benin City – Wha Gwan
- ASTR – R U with Me
- Sylvan Esso – Play It Right
- Hayden James – Embrace
- holychild – Happy with Me
- Lime Cordiale – Sleeping at Your Door
- Lolawolf – Drive
- The Hard Knocks – Coast
- Ben Khan – Eden
- Jagga – Hold Me
- CliffLight – Summer of Sin
- RÁJ – Ghost
- Body Language – Charm
- John Wizards – Muizenberg
- High Highs – A Real Hero (College Cover)
- Twin Shadow – Old Love / New Love
- Great Good Fine Ok – You’re the One for Me
- Bipolar Sunshine – Love More Worry Less
- Lontalius – Furthest Thing (Drake Cover)
What am I supposed to say? An old love called me yesterday.
The “Best of Series” is a playlist generated every month providing you with quality, sounding music across all genres that were released during that month. Whether you’re too busy to visit daily, or just need some music, this is our way of helping you stay current.
Well, I’m back in college for my junior year. This is some scary stuff. One more year? Don’t get me started. Also, I turned 21 today so that’s a great thing as well. Here’s my gift to you!
Jordan’s Top 5:
He is unbelievable. I would let him sing to me, one on one, clothing optional, and not feel weird about. Sorry if that was slightly weird. Nirvana will give you that feeling, too.
Well, if you haven’t heard, Kendrick Lamar calls out a ton of rappers, and it’s fantastic. Even two rappers that he’s on the same song with! Wowza!
You know what? It’s just good, so just listen.
Blast it, jam it, sing it, loudly. This is one of those “why isn’t it at least four minutes long” scenarios. You rock out at only 2 minutes and 40 seconds, but it’ll feel like an eternity with one of my favorite songs of the year.
Hit the jump for the track list Continue reading “Best of August 2013” »
When we were introduced to The Hard Knocks this spring, we instantly compared them to modern indie favorites like The Neighbourhood and The 1975. But that was before “Hosana.” This track is a two-and-a-half minute bulldozer over every preconception we had about LA band. It expands our previous comparisons to legends like Michael Jackson and Queen. On the recording lead singer Shane Hunter sounds like he’s singing for his life, sparking this ball of retro energy that is a perfect reminder of what our generation is missing. We’ll keep you posted on the band’s upcoming ME+ EP.
I respect people who try to stay true to themselves, even when everything in the world is trying to get them to do the opposite. Completely original people, too, like Andy Kaufman who heavily inspired this tape. They say, “You are who you surround yourself with,” but sometimes you get lost. I think recently I was lost–trapped in the dark corners of my own mind. This mixtape is about how I lost myself and how I continue to fight the surrounding negative energy. It’s less sad and serious than it sounds. These 17 songs are essential summer music. Burn them on a CD, go for a drive, and get lost in the funhouse.
- Josh Record – Wonder
- Bipolar Sunshine – Rivers
- The Hard Knocks – Pocket Full of Change
- Wet – Bad Idea
- SomeKindaWonderful – Reverse
- Cave Painting – Rio
- Swim Deep – She Changes The Weather (Whitely Remix)
- Mychal Cohen – Sentimental Guy
- Cowboy Indian Bear – Let It Down
- Noname Gypsy – Sunday Morning
- SPEAK – Peaks
- Kid Astray – Hey Sister
- The Casual Tuesday – Seatbelt
- Majical Cloudz – Bugs Don’t Buzz
- Planetarian – Zoned
- PHOX – Slow Motion
- The Dear Hunter – Whisper
If it were up to me,
I would’ve remained in that dream a little later
I get emails from people I don’t know. That’s just part of my life now. Depending on how intriguing the subject line is or even how much free time I have, I’ll open the mass email, and occasionally, I’ll like the song held within it. When I get an email that says, “For fans of The 1975, Pacific Air, [and] The Neighbourhood,” I have to stop and pay attention to it. This guy knows what he’s doing, and either he will be dead off in his comparison or he’s managing my new favorite band. Luckily in the case of The Hard Knocks, he’s managing my new favorite band. The SoCo-based four-piece is headed in the right direction, garnering comparisons to some of my favorite buzz bands of the past few years. It’s gonna be very interesting to see where this single takes them, and what’s next for this group.
We’ll keep you posted on The Hard Knock’s debut ME EP, coming out May 7th.